Australia helped their chances of making the quarterfinals of the Olympic basketball tournament at the London Olympics by smashing China today, 81-61.
The Boomers were crushed by Spain on Tuesday, but turned around their poor tournament shooting by easily posting their highest score of the campaign and shot 33 percent from downtown, a weakness in the games against Brazil and Spain where they made just 17 percent of their three point attempts.
Patty Mills top scored with 20 points, but shot just 8-19 in this one. He, at least, had help this time as David Andersen and Joe Ingles shared the scoring load with 17 and 13 points respectively.
China took an early lead on the back of some hot shooting from former NBA lottery pick Yi and a few threes, but Andersen and Mills knocked down some tough shots to bring the Boomers back. Brad Newly buried Australia’s third three from seven attempts to give his side a brief lead until a buzzer beating pull jump shot gave China a one-point advantage at quarter time.
China came out in the second to raise their three point shooting to five from seven attempts, but Ingles attacked the basket with purpose and went to the line for back to back three point plays to separate a tied game. A 28 point quarter saw the Aussies create a 17-point turnaround before halftime and it continued throughout with China never getting any closer than nine-points.
After a day break, Australia will play the 0-2 Great Britain, who faces Group B favourites Spain later today.
The Australia women’s basketball team bounced back yesterday after an overtime loss to France earlier in the week with a 67-61 win over Brazil.
Star Lauren Jackson posted 18-points and in the process surpassed Lisa Leslie’s all-time Olympic scoring record of 448 points.